Mining companies agree to pay $20.5 million for environmental damage

Chris Rizo Jul. 1, 2008, 3:37pm

John Suthers (R)

DENVER (Legal Newsline)-Two mining companies have agreed to pay Colorado $20.5 million to settle environmental damage claims at the California Gulch Superfund site in Leadville, Colo., officials said.

ASARCO of Tucson, Ariz., will pay $10 million to the state and Resurrection/Newmont USA, Ltd., a subsidiary of Denver-based gold miner Newmont Mining Corp. will provide $10.5 million for damage along the eleven mile reach of the Upper Arkansas River south of Leadville.

"Today marks the close of an important chapter in our fight to protect and restore Colorado's environment," said Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.

"I am very pleased that we have been able to recover more than $55 million in the past few weeks to ensure that our state's greatest resource is maintained," Suthers said.

The California Gulch Superfund site is an 18-square mile area, which includes an 11-mile stretch of the upper Arkansas River that was mined for decades.

Extensive mining and smelting operations contaminated the region with high levels of zinc, lead, cadmium and arsenic. The pollution harmed aquatic life and contaminated ground- and surface water, a statement said.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at

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